15 Key Statistics Designed to Guide Successful B2B Content Marketing Programs

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Content marketing can be a powerful way to build a foundation for your overall marketing strategy, create lead generation opportunities, and engage with your target audience. So it’s critical to take the time to create a strong content marketing strategy that can deliver relevant content to your audience.

In order to strengthen your strategy, you’ll want to stay up to date with the latest trends and statistics. Between budgeting for your content marketing program, executing your strategy, and then measuring the impact of your content, there’s a lot to consider.

Whether you’re using content marketing to build up SEO, increase engagement on social media, or garner brand awareness, these 15 statistics will help guide you in the right direction.

Content Marketing Budgeting Statistics

What’s Working in Content Marketing 2021

From the DemandGen Report report: Organizations have moved away from relying on event marketing, with only 19% indicating increased budget prioritization. Instead, marketers are shifting their budgets toward ABM (61%), content marketing (60%), sales enablement (48%), and personalization (43%). 

Why This Stat is Important: In the wake of COVID-19, many aspects of B2B marketing had to shift – this includes content. With the loss of in-person events, marketers saw an opportunity to use that budget elsewhere – with many deciding to put more budget towards their content strategies. This could result in more budget being allocated to content marketing in the future.

2021 B2B Marketing Mix Report

From the Sagefrog Report: The top three areas of marketing spend this year have been website development (51%), digital marketing (44%), and content marketing (33%).

Why This Stat is Important: Digital marketing and related initiatives are continuing to grow at a fast pace given the ever-evolving world of digital opportunities. Content marketing being the third top area of marketing spend, even above social media, suggests that marketers are investing more heavily in content as they focus more on their digital marketing strategies.

The State of Marketing Budgets 2021

From the Gartner Report: Content creation accounted for 9.3% of CMOs total marketing budget when asked: “How is your total marketing expense budget for the current fiscal year being allocated to or spent on each of the following marketing programs and operational areas?”.

Why This Stat is Important: Having an allocated budget for content creation is critical to being able to produce relevant and engaging content for your target audience. Leadership buy-in is absolutely necessary to emphasize the importance of a content marketing strategy and this statistic shows that CMOs are making content creation a priority.

Content Amplification Report 2021

From the Converge Report: Content marketers surveyed typically don’t have a budget for content amplification (68%). Of those that do have a budget, most (62%) feel it isn’t enough. 

Why This Stat is Important: As detailed in coverage earlier this year, marketers may want to focus more efforts on content amplification but need the budget to do so. Amplifying your content properly will help to ensure that your content reaches the intended audience, this can be done through a variety of channels, including social media or email. Dedicating a specific budget to content amplification could result in higher-performing content overall.

2021 State of B2B Digital Marketing

From the WPromote Report: WPromote asked B2B marketers which digital marketing channels they plan to increase budget for in the next year, followed by which marketing channels are most effective at driving revenue. 44% of respondents cited content marketing as a channel they plan to increase budget for, with 47% saying this channel is most effective at driving revenue. 

Why This Stat is Important: When it comes down to it, ROI is going to be key in terms of justifying budget for content marketing. With 47% of B2B marketers surveyed saying content marketing is most effective at driving revenue, the positive effect of this can be seen in the 44% of marketers who plan to increase their content marketing budget in the next year. Both statistics indicating that marketers are finding success with content marketing and are willing to continue putting more budget towards the efforts.

Content Marketing Execution Statistics

2021 Content Management & Strategy Survey

From the Content Marketing Institute Report: 50% of content marketers surveyed indicated that they operate their content marketing strategy within a “content products” model (focused on content marketing platforms such as website, blog, magazine, resource center), followed by 32% who indicated a “projects/campaign” model (operating like an internal agency, responding to ad hoc internal requests). 

Why This Stat is Important: This stat shows how content marketers are primarily handling their content strategy, an important trend to follow when building up a content marketing strategy. As further detailed in past coverage, some marketers still remain without a documented content strategy.

The State of B2B Buyer Enablement

From the Pathfactory Report: Marketers are confident in their content’s discoverability and usage in marketing campaigns, but the confidence falls flat when it comes to sales adoption. With only 12% of marketers surveyed saying their sales teams are using content to move sales conversations along very well. 

Why This Stat is Important: At times, marketing and sales teams can have a bit of a disconnect on strategies as each team has different goals and KPIs. This disconnect can sometimes be seen within the execution of content marketing for each team. So the question becomes, how can content marketers communicate to sales so that they know what content to use and where and when to use it?

State of Marketing Report 2021

From the HubSpot Report: About 65% of marketers report that video is their primary form of media used within their content marketing strategy in 2021. Video content remains on the top of this list, at #1, for the second year in a row in this report. 

Why This Stat is Important: It’s no surprise that video has remained an important part of content marketing strategies, given the shift to virtual caused by the pandemic. Video content is likely to remain a very popular form of content, so now is the time to start thinking about how you can incorporate it into your content marketing strategy.

Optimizing Marketing Automation

From the Ascend2 Report: Ascend2 asked best-in-class marketers “what are the most challenging barriers to marketing automation success?”. The top answer (44%) was delivering personalized content to their audience. 

Why This Stat is Important: Personalization is becoming increasingly important as users don’t want to have to search for long for content that is relevant to them. Delivering personalized content could be made easier via marketing automation, as explored here. Catering to your target audience with your content is very important for your overall strategy.

Making Content Marketing Convert

From the CMO Council Report: Only 12% of marketers believe they have high-performance content marketing engines that are strategically programmed to target the right audiences with relevant and persuasive content. 

Why This Stat is Important: As discussed in the above stat from Ascend2, marketing automation is a tactic that many marketers are still struggling with and wanting to use as a personalization tool. Many marketers are exploring how they can achieve more effective marketing automation through their content marketing strategies.

Content Marketing Measurement Statistics

Revenue Attribution From a Leadership Perspective

From the DemandLab Report: Marketers were asked “which digital channels are most difficult to analyze for attributing marketing results to sales revenue?” and 39% of marketers cited content marketing, surpassed only by social media. 

Why This Stat is Important: Being able to determine which digital marketing channels are contributing to sales and overall revenue is critical to measuring ROI, but this is not always an easy task. The following statistics will dive deeper into how marketers are currently measuring and analyzing their content marketing programs.

Measuring Content Marketing Performance: A B2B Marketer’s Perspective

From the KoMarketing & Ascend2 Report: The majority of marketers (37%) report using between three and five different tools to measure their content marketing performance, with 53% putting analytics tools as the most important types of tools needed to measure performance. 

Why This Stat is Important: Measuring the impact of content marketing efforts is not always a one size fits all process, it typically involves utilizing multiple measurement tools, metrics, and channels. From measuring the performance of your content on social media to looking at blog visits on Google Analytics, there are many different (and equally important) ways to measure your content performance.

2021 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends

From the Content Marketing Institute Report: Most respondents (81%) said their organization used metrics to track content performance in the last twelve months. Of those, website traffic is used most often (90%). 

Why This Stat is Important: It’s no surprise that B2B marketers use specific metrics to track the performance of their content marketing, but it is important to note which metric they are finding the most important currently. In a highly competitive environment, getting users to your site can be half the battle. Many content marketers will use different content marketing channels to link back to their website in hopes of an eventual conversion.

2021 State of AI and Creativity

From the Persado Report: Testing provides insights into how creative content and messages are performing and how they could do better. Thirty-three percent of respondents currently conduct comprehensive A/B testing or multivariate testing – the current gold standard. The remaining two-thirds only perform basic A/B testing or no testing at all. 

Why This Stat is Important: Testing and then measuring the results of those experiments is key to optimizing content, it helps marketers see what performs best and make the necessary changes to hit their goals. Being able to utilize the results of these types of tests and apply them to decision-making in your content strategy is integral to creating relevant and engaging content.

The 2021 State of Digital Content

From the Altimeter Report: Altimeter asked marketers how do they currently measure the success/effectiveness of each piece of content and found that the majority of companies (31%) measure content performance in a more holistic customer view across the customer journey, yet still primarily focus on engagement metrics. 

Why This Stat is Important: By tracking the way a customer interacts with your content throughout their entire customer journey, you’re able to gain valuable insights into how your content is performing and resonating with your target audience. These insights can include which channel brings in the most conversions or where you may have lost a user. While it’s clear that engagement metrics still remain a top priority to content marketers, this statistic suggests that they are moving towards tracking and measuring more detailed metrics related to how content fits into the customer journey.

Final Thoughts

Whether you have a fully executed content marketing strategy or are looking for insights for each step of building out a strategy, we hope this list of B2B content marketing statistics is useful in budgeting, executing, and measuring your content marketing.

There are so many more helpful statistics out there on creating a successful content marketing strategy, so feel free to tell us about other key statistics you’ve found powerful that we may have missed! Please let us know your thoughts on Twitter, LinkedIn, or contact us today for more information and guidance!

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